Successful Youth Fundraising
In today's economy, it seems like everything from groceries to gasoline has had its price increased making it harder for people to enjoy some of the finer things in life including extra curricular activities for their kids.
As an active member of my local small town community and the son of a mother who for years had 4-5 semi-trucks unload thousands of girl scout cookies at our house, I picked up a lot of simple and easy ways to fund-raise for some of the activities our youth participate in.
I've actively participated in raffles and fundraiser's in which we eliminated any overhead costs, other then 'time' and ended with net profits for the group of up to $5,000.
The how to's
I've also simply designated a 20 minute appointment with local business owners, spoke on behalf of who I was with, brought supporting documentation, and walked out with checks anywhere from $25 - $500.
There are hundreds of ways to raise money for your organizations but you must be willing to put the time in, be honest, consistent, and follow up on what you say you're going to do. Below, I will give you some examples and hope that you provide your input and suggestions once completed.
Always make sure to plan, prepare, and present for each and every person or company you're going to speak with. Bring some or all, if possible, people with you that you are fundraising for. This is essential if it's for young children who clearly don't work or have income of their own. It's important to some donors that they see face to face what or who they are potentially going to financially support. The connection usually can remove any doubt of a scam or something that may not be worthwhile for someone to donate to.
If the event is going to be something over time, such as a softball teams season or a beauty pageant competition, make sure that you follow up with your sponsors and illustrate your progressions. This gives the donors a sense that their contribution really does have a positive impact on the individual(s) they support.
Treat ALL contributors the same, whether they gave $5 or $500, every bit counts and just because somebody wasn't able to offer a higher monetary amount, doesn't mean they should receive any less attention from the organization.
Here are a few true success stories with my organization of traveling softball clubs:
-A professionally drawn up printed paper discussing what your organization is about and who is involved. The letter discusses where we play and why we play. It has a personalized picture of the team on it that shows what we have already raised and our team goal amount. It indicates that with any donation amount we will advertise for their business on our social media page as well as our traveling sponsorship banner posted at each game in 4 different states. The team can either mail these or personally hand deliver. Cost= less then $30 Result= have received $1305 to date.(2 months so far)
-Gift cards- Any popular gas station, supermarket, or similar if you find the right person can offer you a gift card for a certain amount such as $100 and you pay 50-75% for the card. Sometimes you can even get free gift cards of similar value, doesn't hurt to ask. Then you have group make raffle tickets either $1 a piece of 6 for $5 and have your group sell a certain amount each. Many people are willing to spend $5 in hopes of winning $100. Cost= $50-$75 sometimes less Result= varies. Our group spent $360 for a $400 gift card and sold $2032 in raffle ticket money net profit was $1672 (went from Dec 2011 to Super Bowl Sunday 2012 drawing).
Car Washes- Have the whole group there, signage and all, offer free car washes (donations only), let the customer pick the amount to pay. You can usually go to any local business that has ample driveway space like banks, oil change shops, even parks. Bring soap, sponges, and towels. Set a good time frame to do it usually 9a.m. to 4p.m. (7 hours). Cost=under $20 Result= $250-$300.
Host a dinner or a dance- Another one that involves the entire group and in this case the parents to chaperon! Charge a $5 entry fee to anybody that wants to come that's not in the organization, we've always had success finding a DJ that would either volunteer his time and equipment or charge $100 max for 3 hours. Let the kids have fun.Provide coolers of juice and chips maybe even pizzas whatever you want. We host these in our local school gym but have also been able to do it at municipal buildings. 250-300 people usually come over the years we've done these. Cost=under $75 Result=Average 200 paid to get in=$1000 net. $825 made in 3 hours!!!!! Easy money and it's fun doing it.
Hit-a-thons- Our players go out and find 10 people to sponsor them on a hit-a-thon. They get 3 shots at hitting a ball as far as they can, then we measure and take the farthest one. Then the kids go back to their sponsors and collect the money. Having people even just sponsor $0.05 per foot is perfect, but you'll find some people sponsoring even $0.10 or more which is outstanding. Example sponsors $0.05 per foot. Farthest ball is 160 ft= $8.00 to collect x 10 sponsors, if each sponsor just $0.05 equals $80.00 and let's say you have 10 kids participating, you've just raised $800 and nobody individually paid more the $8.00!!!!!!! Cost=Nothing but your time to do it. Result= unlimited.
Finally, the rewards of accomplishing goals together, especially at a young age, teaches these kids teamwork, some work ethics, and illustrates that together you can do anything if your put your heart and mind to it.
There are many other successful ways of raising money for kids, groups, and organizations. Sometimes it is just a matter of getting the right people involved to make it happen. Please feel free to share your ideas and thanks for reading.